… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!
“Mofe please, just go home.” Abbey pleaded.
“You’ll have to kill me and drag my dear body from your front lawn before I leave without seeing you. Come and open the door Abbey.
Too tired to argue, Abbey simply said “Okay.”
Too wound up about Mofe’s presence downstairs, Abbey rushed out of her room with only her panties. She knew her parents were not around because they had gone out for a dinner function and they would not be back for another three or so hours. As Abbey walked out of her room and downstairs, she thought of ignoring Mofe but she had behaved so badly at dinner, she felt she could at least see him one more time before she decided never to see him again.
As she got to the living room, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves.
“Abbey!” Mofe shouted. “I’ll count to three before breaking this door down.”
Abbey hesitated, putting her hands on her head, unsure of what to do with Mofe.
Abbey shut her eyes, totally confused.
She opened her eyes, determined to be rude to Mofe and chase him from her life before she ruined it completely. Before he could say three, she walked to the front door and opened the door.
Mofe was on his knees.
“Abbey, we need to talk!” Mofe said, his face contrite. From where he knelt, Mofe looked up at Abbey’s naked breasts. Mofe’s sharp intake of breath was unmistakable.
Abbey looked at Mofe kneeling in front of her and noticed what lay on the floor in front of where he knelt.
For the second time that night, Abbey gasped.
==========AND NOW on Roulette Of The Damned!!!==========
Too stunned to speak, Abbey simply stared at Mofe.
Mofe was on his knees with a pair of red roses and two rings on the floor beside him.
Abbey looked from Mofe’s face to the roses and rings on the floor. She looked back up at him. “What do you think you are doing Mofe?”
Still staring at Abbey’s near-naked frame, Mofe sighed in resignation. “My God, you are so beautiful.”
Feeling shy all of a sudden, Abbey covered her breasts with her hands and said “Come in. I don’t want the neighbours to see me this way.”
Getting up from where he knelt, Mofe picked up the rings and roses and walked into the house behind Abbey, closing the door behind him.
Abbey badly wanted to run upstairs and put on a shirt or tie a wrapper to cover her exposed flesh but her legs refused to obey her. The only things running through her mind were Mofe’s possible reasons for showing up in front of her parent’s house with rings. Logic told her that his reason was pretty obvious but she still couldn’t wrap her mind around it. Her tear-streaked face looked at him in confusion.
Using every iota of control he had, Mofe forced his eyes from Abbey’s beautiful body to her face. “Abbey, there are a couple of things you need to know.” Mofe said. “I never thought I’d find someone when I went out clubbing the night I met you. More importantly, I never thought I’d want to go home so badly with someone I met at a club. I never ask people out or go out of my way to make a first impression in such places but something about you was different. Ever since that day, I have constantly craved to have you by my side always. You are the first person I think of in the morning and the last person I crave to talk to at night.”
Abbey tried to interrupt him but Mofe kept placed a finger on her lips and stopped her. He needed to finish this. She needed to know.
“I cannot explain why I feel the way I feel about you.” Mofe continued. “I find myself waiting to hear from you on a daily basis. I run out of my damn mind counting down the days, hours, and minutes to that very moment when I’ll see you next. I pray for you more than I pray for myself. You complete me in ways I didn’t even know I needed to be completed.” Mofe sucked in a breath and continued. “Now I know you are worried that your past will somehow affect the way I feel about you. I also know that you think you will bring disaster into my life if you stay with me but let me make something perfectly clear to you Abbey. I don’t care about your past because your past doesn’t determine your future.”
Abbey looked doubtful.
“Now I know this sounds cliché but trust me when I say that life in itself is cliché. I need you to believe me when I say that your past will not affect you and I because your past is in the past. I would rather have a life of ‘oh well’s’ with you than a life of ‘what ifs’ without you.” Mofe continued. “I am not the easiest man to be with but I will work my ass off to make you the happiest woman in the world. For me to do that, I need you to do something for me” He went down on one knee, held up the ring to her finger and continued. “I need you to be my partner, my lover, and my best friend. I need you to let me have and hold you for better and for worse; taking you with all your flaws and loving you despite all of them. Abbey, I am asking you to do me the huge favour of forgiving yourself and letting go of all your past mistakes for my sake. Please Abbey, be my wife. Marry me?”
Tears streaming down her face with pure happiness, Abbey just couldn’t find the words to express how she felt. Mofe had seen her at her absolute worst and he wanted her more than ever. Unable to speak the words she so badly wanted to say, Abbey simply nodded her ‘yes’, knelt down beside him, and let him put the ring on her finger. Laughing and crying at the same time, Abbey picked up the second ring and put it on Mofe’s finger.
Mofe got up and dragged her near-naked body into his arms. kissing her long and hard. When she finally came up for air, Abbey said “I still haven’t given you your birthday gift. I think its time I did just that. My parents wont be back for another three hours or so. Wanna come upstairs?”
Mofe’s pupils dilated even as a knowing smile crept into his face “Yes. I would like that very much.”
Taking the stairs two at a time, Abbey led Mofe upstairs to her bedroom and propped him on the bed. Putting on some music, Abbey stripped herself of her panties and found herself seductively kneeling to the floor and dancing to the rhythm of the music from where she knelt.
Getting up slowly, Abbey closed the distance between them as she swayed her hips towards him, stopping only when they shared the same shadow, when all she had to do to touch Mofe was to sway a little closer. Standing in front of Mofe stark naked made Abbey feel awkward and vulnerable until she saw the raw need written all over his face. His palms clawed at his jeans as through her wanted to reach out and touch her but needed her approval before doing so. The thought delighted and emboldened her at the same time.
Never underestimate the power of pheromones, she thought as she smiled to herself.
Looking away from Abbey’s breasts and into her eyes, Mofe immediately knew her thoughts. Abbey swayed closer still, leaning even closer into Mofe. She gave him a seductively evil smile. If seduction was war, Abbey knew she commanded an army.
They were on the bed before she knew it. Mofe sat on the edge of the bed with Abbey wrapped around him, her knees on either side of him while he devoured her mouth. With one hand in her wild tumble of hair and the other on Abbey’s firm buttocks, Mofe managed to urge her closer to his straining hardness. She gasped at the outrageous size of him, the thickness and length that went on and on.
The taste of Abbey’s mouth assaulted Mofe’s senses and her scent engulfed him completely. In that very moment, Mofe wanted her hands on him more than he wanted to breathe. Not above begging, Mofe murmured “touch me,” between more of those greedy soul shattering kisses. “For Pete’s sake Abbey, please touch me.”
Going from absolute broke, Abbey’s hands went to his crotch and Mofe groaned again as the intensity of his kiss ratcheted up another notch. Breaking the kiss for a second, Abbey said breathlessly. ” Just so you know, I don’t need you to be civilized and gentle. I just want you.” Her hands reached out for his shirt and she tore it open, sending buttons flying everywhere.
With some help from Mofe, Abbey managed to get rid of his clothes fairly quickly. As Abbey released the panther from his cottoned cage and Mofe sucked in a breath as she held his length in her hands, she knew that if seduction was a war, her blade had just drawn first blood.
With a ragged little noise from deep in his throat, Mofe moaned a raw and needy groan of a man pushed to his limits. Built to retaliate in times like these, Mofe’s tongue began a fierce sensual invasion of Abbey’s privacy, stripping her of everything but the need to respond.
Rolling her onto her back with her legs still wrapped around him tightly, Mofe steadily rocked them both into pleasurable madness.
When Mofe left two hours later, he had a big smile on his sweaty face. He had thought he would be the one surprising Abbey with his proposal tonight but Abbey had used her gift to surprise him in many ways. Thinking about it now, It certainly wasn’t the birthday he had planned, but somehow, it had ended better than he could have ever hoped.
Abbey still felt like a million dollars even after forty five minutes of Mofe’s departure. She knew her room looked like a hot mess after her love-making with Mofe but it had been worth it. He had been worth it! Abbey looked at her engagement ring and smiled. If seduction was indeed a war, Mofe’s love-making had reminded her that even if she had a conquering army at her back, he (and he alone) controlled the skies. Looking around her room, Abbey decided she would clean it in the morning. All she needed now was a good shower and the comfort of her bed, with Mofe’s lingering scent engulfing her between her bed-sheets.
As Abbey got up to go into the shower, she heard the front door close. Excited to finally tell her mum about Mofe and her engagement to him, Abbey quickly wrapped a towel round her naked body and walked quietly towards the stairs. As she got to the edge of the stairs, she noticed that her mum looked scared and her dad looked drunk. Abbey quickly hid in the shadows.
Jafar slapped Tari hard on the face, making one of her silver earrings fall off. “Who the hell do you think you are?” Jafar asked Tari. “What gave you the right to speak on my behalf at that party? Do you know how embarrassing it was to have you speak up for me when I was standing right there? You made me look like a fool who lets his wife fight his battles for him. You need to know your place in this marriage, Tari. I am the man of the house. You are the wife. Your job comprises five basic things: cook for me, spread your legs wide when I want to have sex, give me babies, take care of the kids, and look pretty by my side when we go out together. So far, you are failing on all counts. Your food takes like sand, sex with you feels like a bloody chore, and your womb is so hostile you could only give me one child. You can’t even train the child well. Abbey has no manners. She speaks to me anyhow these days and it’s because of you. I’m sure Abbey sees the stunts you pull when you speak out of turn to me so she thinks she can do the same. Well, there will be no more of that nonsense. All that is going to change from now on.”
Tari sobbed and looked at Jafar. Another black eye was forming nicely and her lip was bleeding from a small cut. Jafar just smiled, shinning impeccably white teeth. He was the true definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“I’m travelling in the morning for a business trip and I won’t be back for a couple of days. By the time I return, new laws will take effect in this household. Abbey will learn proper manners and you, my dear wife” a deadly smile crept into his eyes. “I think it’s time I reminded you of how to truly be submissive to your husband.” Jafar said. “Lets start with consummating out marriage, shall we?” Grabbing her black gown, Jafar tore it from the middle and pinned Tari down. Fear crept into Tari’s eyes and she tried to get away from Jafar but he was too strong. Still struggling to be free of Jafar, Tari’s hands scrambled for something to hold on to.
“Hold still you bitch.” Jafar said “It’s harder if you fight what’s coming, trust me.”
Bruised, bleeding, and angry, Tari turned to Jafar and slapped him hard on the face. “Get off me you devil.” she said, spitting into his face. Stunned, Jafar simply stared at her for a second before the slow smile formed on his face again. He wiped the spit off his face with her torn gown. ” There now Tari, are you trying to turn me on? You know I like it when you play rough.”
Truly scared now, Tari tried to crawl away from him but Jafar held her down, tore her the rest of her gown to rags, ripped off her underwear, and took her from behind while she screamed.
When he was done, Jafar got off Tari and said “You still disgust me, but at least you are learning now. We will continue this when I return from my business trip on Friday. I just need to pee first. Maybe if I’m up for it, we can go another round in a couple of minutes.” Staggering to the guest toilet by the front door, Jafar went to ease himself while Tari lay on the couch curled up in her shell as she cried and bled.
Watching from the shadows, Abbey had witnessed her mum being raped by her dad. She had wanted to help her mum but her father looked so drunk, she was worried he would have raped her too. Not being able to stomach the gory scene anymore, Abbey crept back to her room, locked her door behind her with the key, discarded her towel, and got into her bathroom. Turning on the shower to full blast, Abbey used her hands to cover her ears and let the hot water run all over her body and wash away the tears she cried for her mother.
The next morning, Abbey stomped around her room endlessly after her father left for the airport. Her mother had gone to drop her father at the airport. Abbey needed to get out of this house like now! She wanted to run away and leave her father’s house forever in her past but guilt kept her living there. What if something happened to her mother once she’d moved out?
Hearing the front door close, Abbey knew her mum had returned from the airport. Leaving her room Abbey walked down the stairs and called out. “Mum, where are you?” She strode through the living room. “Mum?”
Tari came down the hall. Her eyes were streaked with tears. “Hi honey.”
“Are you okay?” Abbey asked.
“Yeah, I am dear.” Tari said. “Can you sit with me for a little while? We need to talk.” Tari choked back a sob.
“Sure mum.” Abbey followed her mother into the kitchen. Her mind swarmed with the hateful things her father had said to her mother last night. They definitely had to talk about it. Enough was enough!
As they got into the kitchen, Abbey couldn’t hold herself anymore. ” I’m so sorry mum. I saw what dad did to you last night.” she said. “I was just too scared to do anything about it. I’m such a coward. I should have stopped him.”
Tari smiled sadly “There was very little you or I could have done. You father will do what he wants to do and no one can stop him.”
“Maybe I couldn’t do anything last night but I can do something now. When is he coming back from his business trip?” Abbey asked.
“On Friday” Tari replied. Motioning to the table, Tari said, “Lets sit down.” She dabbed her eyes with a tissue. “I don’t know what’s come over me.” Tari said hesitantly. “I feel guilty, I suppose.”
“Guilty about what?” Abbey asked
“Your father.” Tari replied.
“Why would you feel guilty about dad?” Abbey asked in a confused voice. “Mum, you’ve done nothing wrong. You are the victim in all of this.”
Tari looked away. She stared blankly into space, the silent humming of the freezer was the only sound that could be heard. “What’s going on?” Abbey asked with bated breath.
Tari’s voice was almost a whisper when she answered. “I’ve been afraid of your father for a very long time.”
“I know mum.” Abbey said.
“It’s hard to believe he’s the same man I fell in love with.” Tari continued. “Although now that I think about it, he has always been dominating and controlling. I guess I was just so in love with him that I never let myself see him for who and what he truly was. All I ever wanted was to get married, have six children, and live in a big house with my perfect family. I wanted all the things I didn’t have as a child.” Tari scoffed. “I was so stupid to believe your father would give me all I ever wanted. Who was I kidding?”
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting those things for yourself mum.” Abbey said, trying to make her mum feel better.
Turning to look at Abbey, Tari gave her a small smile. “I should have left him years ago Abbey.” Tari said. “I just didn’t want you to grow up without a father figure in your life like I had to when I was growing up. Unfortunately, the longer I stayed, the harder it became.”
“It’s never too late. I’m all grown up now, mum. You can still do it. ” Abbey encouraged.
Tari shook her head. She got up and poured two cups of orange juice from the fridge. Needing a change of subject, Tari smiled and said “Enough about me. How are things with you and Jiro?”
It was Abbey’s turn to give her mum a sad smile. “We broke up mum.”
“What?” Tari asked, clearly shocked. “Really? When? You never told me. Have I been so caught up in my own mess that I have neglected you and what has been happening in your life? Oh my God, I’m so sorry Abbey.”
Abbey quickly reached for her mum’s hand and said “It’s okay mum. You’ve been doing the best you could. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t know how to.” She sighed. “Its a long story mum. Let’s just say he’s not who I thought he was.”
Tari looked down at Abbey’s hand and noticed the engagement ring. “So if you and Jiro broke up, why are you still wearing his engagement ring? Tari asked.
Abbey blushed. “It’s not Jiro’s mum. There’s someone else.”
Tari’s sad smile grew several inches wider and a tear fell from her eyes. “I feel like I have failed you as a mother. I should know these things. You didn’t have to go through all of these things alone. I’m so sorry.” Tari started sobbing again.
“Its okay mum, really” Abbey said, holding her mother’s hand tightly. “You had a lot on your plate and I should have helped you through it but I turned a blind eye to it. I am as much to blame for dad getting away with beating you as he is for being the one who beat you. I am an accessory to the violence done to you because I didn’t speak up against him until it was too late. I am the one that failed you mum. I’m so sorry.”
Tari offered Abbey yet another sad smile. “I guess we both dropped the ball on this one, eh? Me more than anyone else.”
“You’ve done nothing wrong mum. Now is the perfect time to leave dad for good.” Abbey said.
“That’s where you are wrong Abbey.” Tari said. “I’ve done something awful.”
Abbey looked confused. “What are you talking about?” she asked.
Tari looked unsure. “I didn’t want to have to tell you this…” Tari said to Abbey.
Forcing a look of encouragement into her eyes, Abbey said, “Whatever it is, you can tell me. I promise not to hold it against you mum”
“I know now that I can tell you Abbey.” Tari said with a lot more confidence in her voice. “It is just such a hard thing for me to talk about.”
“Take your time,” Abbey said. She fought to keep her voice calm and her tone soft. Her stomach twisted into a knot. Her mother claimed to have done something awful. Images of her mum going to a herbalist to kill her father or make him run mad came to mind. Abbey almost wished that was the case. Still, she waited for her mum to speak.
Tari took a sip of her juice. She stared down at her glass as she spoke. “About six months ago, I had to attend a fundraising dinner. Your father was supposed to come. In fact, he had been the one to insist we attend. He called me over the phone and told me he was running late at work but he would meet me there. Evidently he found more interesting things to do and someone more interesting to do it with because he never showed up.”
Abbey wrapped her hands around her mum’s trembling hands. Tari sucked in a breath before she continued. “I was seated beside a man I’d never seen before and we got to talking throughout the night. One thing led to another and –”
“And you ended up having sex with him?” Abbey said, concluding her mum’s sentence for her.
Tari looked ghost-like. She nodded an affirmative. “I had never cheated on your father before that night but I was so lonely and Tunde was there to listen. I don’t know why I trusted him so completely. We connected in a way I’d never experienced before. It just felt right.”
Abbey smiled, remembering how she had felt with Mofe the very first night she had met him. “I understand perfectly mum. Was it just that one night or did you see him again?”
Tari’s eyes remained fixed on her glass. “We became friends at first. Just friends. He was so easy to be with. I told him everything about my life with your father. I even invited him to one of the church vigils I usually go to and he’s been coming ever since. One night, we finished from the church vigil and he invited me over to his place. We made love and I left immediately after. That became our routine after every vigil but I always make sure I get home just before your dad wakes up so he doesn’t suspect where I have been.”
That explained all the church vigils her mother never missed these past few months. And here I was thinking she’d been praying for her marriage with dad. The irony!, Abbey thought with a glad smile.
“And?” Abbey asked inquisitively.
“And I’m in love with him.” Tari said, blushing.
“Does he love you too??” Abbey asked her mum.
“Yes, he truly does.” Tari said confidently.
“Is he married too? Abbey asked.
“No.” Tari replied.
Abbey looked excited. “Then why don’t you leave dad and be with him?” She asked her mum. “You’re obviously miserable with dad.”
Tari gave Abbey a tired smirk. “I’ve tried Abbey, but every time I mention divorce, your father… he gets so angry.”
“You can’t go on like this forever,” Abbey said in her as-a-matter-of-fact voice. “One of these days, dad will end up killing you. Staying with him isn’t going to solve anything.”
“I know.” Tari said softly.
“Does this Tunde guy hit you?” Abbey asked cautiously.
“Never.” Tari said almost instantaneously.
“And is he willing to help you leave dad? Does he want you to?” Abbey asked again.
“Absolutely,” Tari said. “He has wanted me to leave your father since the first day we met.”
“So do it then.” Abbey said with a smile on her face. “You have nothing to feel guilty about mum.”
“I’ve thought about it several times but I have just been too afraid to act on it,” Tari said. “I know your father. I know his temper. If he found out I left him for another man…” Her voice trailed off. “I didn’t want to take that chance.” she finished.
“You think dad will hurt Tunde?” Abbey asked, understanding her mother’s worry, especially since her dad had threatened Mofe’s life not so long ago.
“I’m sure he would.” Tari said, sounding sure.
“But you can’t let him bully you into staying with him forever.” Abbey insisted.
“I have thought of killing your father.” Tari said softly, more to herself than to Abbey.
Abbey inhaled sharply. “Why would you ever want to do that?” Abbey initially thought of telling her mum that she spent most of her nights dreaming of ways to kill her father; but there was something in the way that her mother had said it that made Abbey sure that this wasn’t the right time to be giving her mother any crazy ideas.
“I hate your father.” Tari said. “I hate him for everything he has put me through, for all the broken ribs I have had to live through over the years. I hate him for making me hate myself to the point of considering to taking my own life.”
Abbey looked truly shocked. She would never have guessed that her mum, a God-fearing woman, had contemplated suicide several times. Tari looked into Abbey’s eyes and continued. “I have felt worthless for so long Abbey. Not even my love for God could take away my hate for Jafar because every time I ask God to deliver me from this hell I am in, I still end up coming home to your bastard father. I hate your father for teaching me about life the hard way. So many years lost. So many experiences endured. The only good thing that ever came out of this marriage was you, Abbey; and he almost killed you while I was pregnant with you in my womb.
“Oh my God,” was all Abbey could say.
“He threw me down the stairs during one of our many arguments.” Tari continued. “That fall caused me to go into labour weeks before my due date. It was a miracle you survived. After you arrived, there was so much internal bleeding from the fall and from birthing you, the doctor told me that my womb was too damaged to ever give birth again. I was much younger than you at the time.” Tari choked back the torrent of tears that threatened to fall.
In that moment, Abbey saw her mother differently for the first time in a long time. She finally understood what kind of family they were. The three of them — father, mother, and daughter — had lived their lives together yet neither of them truly understood themselves. Until now, she had never known the circumstances surrounding her birth. When she was really young, Abbey had asked her mother for a little brother or sister and she remembered her mum telling her “You are all I will need in a child Abbey. My one and only angel, just the way God intended.”
In that very second, a new level of hate for Jafar formed deep within Abbey.
“Do you really love this Tunde guy mum?” Abbey asked Tari.
“Completely.” Tari replied.
“And he loves you?” Abbey inquired again.
“Without a doubt.” Tari re-iterated.
Abbey reached across the table, squeezed her mother’s hand and said “Then leave dad and go be with Tunde.”
Tari smiled, despite the tears filling her eyes. “What about you? I can’t leave you here alone with him, Abbey.”
“I can handle dad, don’t worry.” Abbey said with more confidence than she actually felt.
The ringing of a phone stole the next words from Tari’s mouth. She hesitated before reaching for her cell phone. She answered and a wide smile quickly appeared on her face. “I’ve missed you too Tunde,” she said.
Abbey wandered out of the kitchen, giving Tari some privacy. Her mother was having an affair. She’d never have suspected it, through it made perfect sense. Abbey hoped her mother’s new found love would give her the courage she needed to finally leave her father.
Honestly, Abbey was a bit surprised her father hadn’t caught wind of the affair. Then again, he rarely paid any attention to the activities in the life of his wife and daughter unless it suited his own purpose. Abbey knew her father wouldn’t make it easy for Tari to leave him. Knowing Jafar, he would probably threaten her with everything possible. For him, it would be more about his almighty image and his precious reputation being at stake than it being about reconnecting with his family. He wouldn’t want people to think he wasn’t the perfect husband or loving father; and he sure as hell wouldn’t want Tari to be free of his control. His words to her not so long ago echoed in her mind “Till death do us part…that’s my favourite part of the vows.” Abbey visibly shuddered.
Walking over to the life size picture of her parents on their wedding day, Abbey ran her fingers across the framed portrait. They looked so happy. At first glance, her father appeared a gentler man but when she looked more closely, she could see that coldness lurking deep in his eyes. Yes her father would certainly forbid a divorce. The question now was how far would he go to get his way.
“Abbey, are you okay?” Tari asked from the kitchen door.
Abbey spun around to meet her mother’s curious gaze. “Yes mum, I am,” she said.
“Good. Thank you for listening to me and being so mature about everything.” Tari met Abbey’s eyes. “I’m going to tell your father I want a divorce when he comes back. And this time, I’m going to stand my ground.”
“Why don’t you leave now, before he gets back from his business trip?” Abbey asked. As much as her mother seemed confident, Abbey wasn’t sure a confrontation was the way to go.
“I can’t Abbey. I know your dad. He will come after me.” Tari said.
“Not if he doesn’t know where you are, he won’t.” Abbey said. “Besides, you can get some sort of a restraining order or something. I’m sure it’s do-able.”
“He’s a lawyer Abbey…and a good one at that. I’m sure he has ears within the law circle. He will find out and he will fight me on that restraining order. Besides that, he would most probably bribe someone in the legal department to invalidate the restraining order and make up a damn good excuse as to why it should be tossed out the window.”
Abbey walked over to her mum and held her hand “Mum, do you honestly want a divorce?”
“Yes, I do.” Tari said with determination in her voice.
“Then you need to do this right now,” Abbey said, her voice laced with urgency. “It doesn’t matter who dad knows in the law circle or in the country for that matter. By the time he will be able to do anything about it, you will be long gone.”
“I’m scared.” Tari said, her voice shaky.
“I know you are mum. But this is your chance.” Abbey insisted. “He’s not here now so he can’t hurt you. The major thing dad treasures is his job and his reputation, and his job has taken him away on business. This is the time to strike before he comes back and wants to let his reputation take centre stage.”
“You are right.” Tari said, seeing sense in Abbey’s words.
“Of course I’m right mum. Now let’s pack all your stuff,” Abbey said. “I’ll help you get that restraining order today.”
Tari hesitated. “I can’t believe I’m terrified of the same man I once loved with all my heart.”
“He’s not the same man, mum” Abbey said. “Not anymore.”
Tari looked at Abbey intensely and said. “Abbey I don’t know what happened between you and Jiro, and I don’t want to know. All I need you to do is to promise me that you will never tolerate less than what you are worth with anyone, especially with any man.”
“I won’t mum.” Abbey promised.
“I mean it Abbey” her mum said sternly. “Never let any man take advantage of you or undermine your value, not even once; no matter what the excuse.”
“And one more thing…” Tari continued.
“Yeah?” Abbey inquired.
“Abbey, this new guy” Tari started, “does he treat you well?” Tari asked.
A big smile graced Abbey’s face. “He treats me better than any man ever could mum. He’s absolutely wonderful.”
“Then take the same advice you gave me.” Tari said to her only daughter. “Go after the man you love. Don’t lose him. Fight for him. If you never try, you’ll never know. Don’t ever live your life in regret and don’t let anyone destroy the rare experience you share with the person you are in love with. Never live in regret, my darling angel.”
Upstairs, they worked together packing Tari’s things. Tari stopped midway, a look of worry on her face “Damn it, what happens on Friday when your father arrives at the airport?” Tari asked suddenly. “Your father will be expecting me to pick him up from the airport. If I leave him hanging, he’ll be embarrassed and that will only add to his fury.”
Abbey thought for a moment before replying. “I’ll pick him up mum.” She replied.
“Abbey, No.” Tari said forcefully. “I don’t want you in the middle of this.”
“I’ve always been in the middle of all of it mum,” Abbey said. “Helping you do this one thing will actually make me happy. Don’t worry.”
“I cant help but worry Abbey. Your father is dangerous.” Tari said, concern written all over her face.
“I’ll be fine,” Abbey said. “I’ll quickly drop him off at home, make up some excuse about why I need to leave immediately, and be on my way.”
Tari sat on the edge of the bed. “You are so brave, Abbey. I couldn’t have asked for a better child. You really are my little angel!”
Abbey sat beside her mother. “You’re pretty awesome yourself, mum. I learnt how to be brave from you.”
They hugged and shared a few tears before Abbey spoke again. “So it’s settled. I’ll pick dad up. Maybe you should write him a note and leave it on the bed. He’ll find it after I drop him off.”
“Are you sure?” Tari asked.
“Positive.” Abbey replied.
“I don’t want you here alone with him when he finds the letter Abbey. It could be disastrous” Tari warned.
Abbey smirked. “I wont even come inside the house.” she said. “Now please call Tunde and tell him to come pick you up. Maybe we can even pick up some food and wine to celebrate. I know a great place.”
Tari smiled through her tears. “That sounds wonderful.”
Sitting in his chair, Jiro wasn’t able to concentrate on work any longer. He needed an answer from Andrew, and soon. The man had managed to avoid giving him a yes or a no regarding the trip to his parent’s house for the coming weekend. Initially, Jiro had thought to starve Andrew of sex as a way of getting him to agree but from the looks of it, they were both suffering from the decision. Itching to speak with Andrew again for the hundredth time that day, Jiro picked up his blackberry and sent him a blackberry message.
Jiro’s message read “Hey papi…still waiting on your answer regarding your pending decision on whether or not to accompany me to my parents’ place this coming weekend for their anniversary. Please say yes. I promise to make it worth your while.”
Picking up his blackberry in his own office, Andrew smiled at his phone. It was Jiro. Andrew wasn’t surprised. Excited, Andrew checked the blackberry message and sighed resolutely.
This issue of going to his parents’ place again, Andrew thought dryly. After his daily exercise that morning, Andrew had decided to say yes to Jiro. His decision had been simple really. After Andrew had deliberated the invitation over and over again and had still not found a way of saying NO to Jiro without hurting his feelings, he had given up on the whole idea of saying no. He decided within himself that he would rather stab himself in the chest with a pen than have Jiro sad and lonely all weekend simply because he was scared of meeting his lover’s — I mean, best friend’s — parents. He started typing his reply to Jiro.
To reply Jiro’s bbm, Andrew’s message read “I would love to cupcake. Just know that I’m doing this because you mean the world to me. That said, you owe me big-time!”
Jiro’s reply read “Indeed I do. Get ready to collect in full”. Jiro smiled at his phone. He loved it when he got his way with Andrew.
Finally, he thought. He couldn’t wait to meet up with Andrew later. The sex drought he had initiated was driving Jiro mad and he knew Andrew was fast losing his mind as well. They had been holding off on their urges long enough to give them both blue balls from hell.
Jiro smiled. It was time to call off the man-fast.
Thirty minutes after her mum left with Tunde, the door bell rang. I hope mum didn’t forget anything, Abbey thought inwardly. She called out “who’s there?”
Abbey was sure that if it was her mum at the door, she would have replied her by now. Not wanting to see who the visitor was if they couldn’t announce who they were, Abbey started walking back up the stairs.
The door bell rang again. Irritated, Abbey walked back to the front door and asked. “Hello. who is that?”
Cautiously, Abbey opened the door.
No one stood at the doorway.
She stepped onto the driveway to see if the visitor had already started walking away when a familiar voice startled her from behind a tree nearby.
“Abbey, can we please talk?” Edirin quietly asked.
Abbey spun around. Edirin stood less than three feet from her. Bukunmi stood by her side. Abbey glared at Bukunmi. She felt betrayed. “I have nothing to say to the both of you,” she said.
“It’s important,” Bukunmi said. “Please?”
A tear slid down Edirin’s cheek. In all the years they’d been friends, Abbey had never seen Edirin cry. Abbey remained still a moment. She wished she could hate Edirin but after her mother’s revelations about her father’s true mannerisms, Abbey simply couldn’t bring herself to remain mad at Edirin.
Bukunmi motioned towards her car. “Please Abbey. Just hear her out. Lets go somewhere… anywhere you would like to go. Consider it my treat. We can take my car,” she said.
Reluctantly, Abbey agreed.
On Abbey’s orders, Bukunmi drove to a nearby restaurant. The girls picked a table in a quiet corner and ordered drinks from the menu. They waited in silence until the waitress served them and left.
Needing to have the first word, Abbey spoke. “I know this mess isn’t entirely your fault.” Abbey said to Edirin. “That doesn’t mean that I could ever forgive you.”
“I’m so sorry,” Edirin said. ” It just sort of happened in a hurry, Abbey. I honestly fell in love with Jafar. He told me he loved me too. He said we were meant to be together.”
“He’s a lying bastard,” Abbey said. “He was just using you.”
Edirin choked back a sob. “I know that now. I always felt guilty about never telling you and your mum about it but he kept promising me that it would all work out.”
“I don’t want to hear this,” Abbey said. “I can’t. Not right now.” Abbey started to get up but Bukunmi grabbed her hand. “Wait,” she said. “Its really important that you listen to the rest.”
“You don’t know him like I do,” Abbey said to both Bukunmi and Edirin. “There’s no point continuing this conversation. You’d never understand.”
“I’m pregnant,” Edirin said flatly.
“Oh my God” Abbey muttered. She sank back down into the chair.
Bukunmi pursed her lips at Abbey. “Told you you’d want to hear the rest.” she said.
Abbey dropped her bag on the chair beside her. “You’ve got my full attention. Start from the beginning and leave nothing out.” Abbey said to Edirin.
To be Continued…
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